It’s the New Year! It’s times to make those changes and achieve those goals. New Year’s resolutions are a great time to start over and work on your health. If you have a condition that causes you chronic pain, don’t be discouraged. You can set a goal to live with less pain!
Over 116 million Americans live with chronic pain. Living with less pain starts with some basic physical fitness. It makes sense that if you are carrying around some extra pounds, it causes more stress on your bones and joints therefore resulting in more chronic pain. Being overweight or obese can amplify your pain and make it harder for you to remain active and independent.
Losing weight cannot repair the damage that’s already been done to your joints, but in addition to decreasing your pain, it can also help to slow down the further progression of disease. One study found that knee osteoarthritis in obese men would decrease by 21.5% if they lost enough weight to be categorized as merely overweight; for women, arthritis would decrease by 31%.
But of course, in order to lose weight, you must be healthy and active. Chronic pain can hinder this goal but, there are many treatment options available that can help get you relief and work towards your goal of living with less chronic pain. These treatment options include acupuncture, chiropractic care, and physical therapy.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. It is most commonly used to treat pain. A huge advantage to acupuncture is that it is a drug-free way to minimize pain. With drugs, people often can develop a tolerance, or the need for an increased dosage to achieve the same required effect. This does not happen with acupuncture. Additionally, acupuncture allows the doctor to immediately examine a person’s response to the treatment and make adjustments if necessary, making your treatments much more personal. A study done at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York determined that of 29 randomized controlled trials, involving nearly 18,000 patients, shows that acupuncture was better at relieving pain than over-the-counter medicines and other common treatments.
Chiropractic treatment is the most common nonsurgical treatment for back pain. Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, enabling the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support. Chiropractic care can help get your joints some relief and get you back on your feet.
Physical therapy is another great treatment option for chronic pain. Physical therapists work with you to educate you on chronic pain, find solutions to improve your quality of life, and get you moving again. They can help you improve movement, teach you pain management strategies, and, in many cases, reduce your pain. Physical therapy treatments can include:
- Education- to improve your knowledge of chronic pain and how it occurs and what you can do about it.
- Strength and flexibility exercises- to help you move more easily with less discomfort
- Manual therapy- which consists of specific, gentle, hands-on techniques that can be used to manipulate or mobilize tight joint structures and soft tissues
- Posture awareness and body mechanics instruction
According to research treating pain as soon as possible helps to prevent chronic pain. Don’t ignore your pain. Northeast Spine and Sports can help you achieve your resolutions this New Year and can help get you pain relief. Contact us to learn more.